Residents of Gaichanjiru area in Kandara sub-county, Murang’a, are calling on police to apprehend a gang of youths that has been terrorizing them for months.
Twenty eight-year-old Samuel Ngugi was killed on Monday night by the gang known to residents as ‘Gaza’.
The gang members, numbering six, crept upon Ngugi as he slept inside his uncle’s house. They called him out by name, saying they wanted to kill him. Two other people who were living in the Bernard Wanyoike’s compound- his aunt (Bernard’s wife) and her younger brother, fled when the gang attacked.
Ngugi had been welcomed into Wanyoike’s home in April last year after he lost his job owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Wanyoike is the agro-marketing executive officer at Murang’a County government.
On Monday, Wanyoike received a phone call from his sister informing him that his home had been attacked by the gang.
The gang broke into the house where Ngugi was sleeping but his attempt to run for safety was cut short when he tripped and fell. Catching up with him, the gang pummeled him with metal rods.
His screams attracted the attention of a neighbour who rushed to his rescue. He successfully pleaded with Gaza to spare his life. But it was too little, too late. Ngugi had sustained serious injuries and could neither talk nor walk.
The Good Samaritan rushed him to Gaichanjiru Mission Hospital where he succumbed.
A distraught Wanyoike said the village has experienced a rise in insecurity in recent past. Just about 100 metres from his homestead, the gang had attacked another family but left them safely after it was offered an unknown amount of money.
At a local bar, the gang set upon a man for refusing to buy for them alcohol. Wanyoike says there have also been cases of children being attacked on their way to school.
Laban Thuo, another villager, said the gang is apparently operating at the behest of avocado selling cartels. He says the youth targeted work in this agricultural sub-sector.
Two weeks ago, Cyrus Kamande was stabbed in the stomach after refusing to part with his day’s wages. It was 7 pm when the attack took place. “The following day, they waylaid my wife as she went to fetch water from the river and assaulted her,” says Kamande. The two reported the incident to the police.
“It is shocking that the gang walks around armed with pangas and even attacks people during burial preparations, yet the police are doing nothing about it,” said Thuo.
The murder of Ngugi comes only a week after a 55-year-old man was murdered and buried with cow-dung in a shallow grave in Kabati, still in the sub county. Police arrested a 24-year-old Ugandan man who worked as a farm hand at the deceased’s home.